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Profiles in Design: Interior Designer Susan Spieler

Subtle Santa Barbara Innovator Among Modern Interior Designers


Granddaughter to the founder of the Circle Bar B Guest Ranch & Stables in Goleta, Susan Spieler grew up cleaning guest rooms and observing the interworking of rustic interior design. She thought, “One day, I am going to design these.” And design she did. Beginning an internship under renowned interior designer Richard Byers in 1984, Spieler drafted carpet layouts for athletes’ dormitories in the 1984 UCSB Olympic Village. Following her graduation from Cal Poly, Spieler worked for Richard Byers Interiors for four more years before going on to leave her own mark on the world of interior design.

Spieler Interior Design Associates was launched in 1989 with a vision and unique style in mind, but Susan never felt pressured to stay within the lines of stereotypical interior motifs. “I use color differently than people expect. Lights and darks according to the needs of the space,” she said. While avant-garde, Spieler’s designs remain classic. “Our current generation likes streamlined designs with a hint or a nod to the past. Mid-century modern is really retro, but not fussy or cluttered. That’s because of technology. Everything is so streamlined so interiors have become streamlined as well.”

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Spieler also relishes her use of color and mood. She believes color to be very important in the implementation of interior design, understanding the connections between color and emotion. She enjoys getting to know her clients in order to fully recognize the interior that fits a particular personality. She orders custom fabrics from Los Angeles, mixing the right proportion of modern and classic techniques to execute her designs.

Throughout her career, Spieler has worked on a variety of commercial and residential projects including her own 55-room hotel in San Simeon, a bed-and-breakfast in Santa Barbara, and even a 16-seat home theater, working with area companies like AD Construction and Kathryn Dole Landscape Architects to accomplish her goals. A current project, the Blue Sands Inn, features 12 rooms on beach-area property. The project incorporates area artists, eco-friendly designs, and a relaxed atmosphere. The Blue Sands Inn opens in Santa Barbara this coming August.

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Creative and adaptable, Susan Spieler possesses a vigorous passion for interior design. She wants people to know that interior design can be affordable because you receive proper selection of materials and the utmost functionality. Spieler’s talents are versatile, and she tackles interior design challenges with a vengeance. Whether she’s working off an existing design or starting from scratch, Spieler is able to capture functionality and innovation in all her endeavors.



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